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July Cup Tips

Get full coverage of every day on our July Festival tips page, with previews and predictions for all the races. 

2018 July Cup Confirmed Runners

*Number) (draw) NAME, age, weight, rating, trainer, jockey (best odds)*

1) (10) BLUE POINT, 4, 9-6, 120, Charlie Appleby, William Buick (3/1 Ladbrokes)
2) (4) BRANDO, 4, 9-6, 114, Kevin Ryan, Tom Eaves (14/1 William Hill)
3) (14) DREAMFIELD, 4, 9-6, John Gosden, James Doyle (8/1 Coral)
4) (1) INTELLIGENCE CROSS, 4, 107, Aidan O'Brien, Padraig Beggy (66/1 Betfair)
5) (6) LIMATO, 6, 9-6, 117, Henry Candy, Harry Bentley (10/1 Ladbrokes)
6) (2) REDKIRK WARRIOR, 7, 9-6, 121, David Hayes, Regan Bayliss (9/1 Ladbrokes)
7) (7) SIR DANCEALOT, 4, 9-6, 114, Gerald Mosse, David Ellsworth (25/1 Coral)
8) (8) SPIRIT OF VALOUR, 4, 9-6, 112, Aidan O'Brien, Donnacha O'Brien (50/1 William Hill)
9) (9) EQTIDAAR, 3, 9-0, 114, Sir Michael Stoute, Jim Crowley (5/1 Betfair)
10) (11) FLEET REVIEW, 3, 9-0, 108, Aidan O'Brien, Wayne Lordan (33/1 Coral)
11) (3) INVINCIBLE ARMY, 3, 9-0, 112, James Tate, PJ McDonald (25/1 Ladbrokes)
12) (5) SANDS OF MALI, 3, 9-0, 116, Richard Fahey, Paul Hannagan (20/1 William Hill)
13) (13) SIOUX NATION, 3, 9-0, 112, Aidan O'Brien, Seamie Heffernan (20/1 Coral)
14) (12) US NAVY FLAG, 3, 9-0, 113, Aidan O'Brien, Ryan Moore (9/2 Ladbrokes)

2018 July Cup Ante-Post Tips

Favourite Blue Point and Lightly-raced four-year-old, Dreamfield were both impressive at Royal Ascot and hold significant appeal. However - considering almost half of the winners and placers in the past decade carried odds of 12/1 or more and with the average price of a horse filling the places in that time period totalling a staggering 19.5/1 -  I’m going to take a punt on SIOUX NATION running a huge race.

Sioux Nation is a Group One-winning two-year-old, having followed his triumph in the Norfolk Stakes with a strong victory in the Keeneland Phoenix Stakes. After losing out on his reappearance, Sioux Nation successfully carried a penalty into the winners’ enclosure on his second start, seeing off some decent horses with the minimum of fuss. 

Seamie Heffernan’s mount has plenty of top level experience and the large field here won’t phase him. The 
Sioux Nation was the favourite for the Commonwealth Cup for a reason and I hope he can show his quality in this year’s July Cup.

Full ante-post preview here.

July Cup Betting Tips

Since 2008, the July Cup has been a part of the Global Sprint Challenge, a series of the ten best sprint races from across Australia, Japan, Hong Kong, Dubai and the United Kingdom. A prize fund of $1,000,000 is awarded to the horse that wins three separate Group One’s in three different countries during the campaign with $750,000 going to the respective trainer and $250,000 to the owner. 

The inclusion of the July Cup in such a series shows the standing that the contest has on the world scene. With some of the sport’s leading trainers targeting the July highlight in recent seasons, winning the Group One has become a notable feather in the cap of some of the world’s best handlers.

Not only do you need a horse with an immense level of speed to win the July Cup, but you also need them to overcome the unusual test that the July course at Newmarket presents. Run over a straight six-furlongs, the July Cup begins with a steady downhill run for the best part of five-furlongs before a strong uphill final furlong finish to the line. It means a horse must possess the correct use of balance and pace to be prepared for an uphill run-in that can be underrated by jockeys.

Darley July Cup Day

Established in 1876, the July Cup is renowned for being one of the premier sprint contests in the racing calendar and consistently attracts elite profiles from Britain, Ireland, America, Australia and Asia. During the 1971 introduction of the current grading system, the July Cup was originally given Group Two status before being upgraded to a Group One in 1978.

Run on the third and final day of Newmarket’s July Festival, the six-furlong highlight represents the great power and speed of the thoroughbred racehorse in a contest that frequently produces Europe’s champion sprinter at the Cartier Racing Awards each year.

With a recent winner’s list that features the likes of Stravinsky, Oasis Dream, Fleeting Spirit, Dream Ahead and Slade Power, the July Cup stands as one of the leading races in the sprinting division and continuously produces a worthy victor. The open nature of Newmarket’s July setting offers an even playing field for each entrant to perform to the best of their abilities.
On many occasions you will find front-runners burn too much energy in the frantic downhill charge towards the one-furlong pole, which leaves them gasping for air, and a last ditch resurgence, inside the final 200 yards. It has been reiterated by riders over the past decade that the need to manage the pace efficiently in this Group One is critical to any winning claims. Racing too fast, too early is a frequent habit that many fail to overcome.

The success of the three-year old Dream Ahead in 2011 showcased the necessary tactical awareness needed in a July Cup. Ridden by jockey Hayley Turner, Dream Ahead was waited with in the rear of the field before using his reserved energy inside the last 100 yards to topple those that had raced prominently. 

Despite being regarded as a sprint, it is somewhat crucial that a horse boasts the necessary ability to see out the full six-furlongs. The downhill nature of the track can catch riders off guard as being a lenient test for their horse. However, the fact that Dream Ahead went on to triumph in a Group One over seven-furlongs following his July Cup victory in 2011 proves that an overall mixture of pace, balance, speed and stamina is strongly required to win Newmarket’s six-furlong highlight.
An ever-growing prize fund of £500,000 for the Group One July Cup provides evidence that the overall showcase of Newmarket’s July festival continues to thrive in popularity. Year on year, the country’s leading figures from the worlds of sport, fashion and showbusiness attend the famous three-day meeting making it not only a racing meeting, but a real British event. 

The historic background that the festival boasts offers a unique experience for its spectators that is rarely found elsewhere. 

"The Best Sprinter in Europe"

Although not an official title, the July Cup event at Newmarket attracts many of Europe's leading sprint horses, and a result the annual winner of the July Cup becomes known as “the best sprinter in Europe”.

Newmarket Racecourse

Racing has been a feature of Newmarket, a town in Suffolk, since the 1620s, and a course has been present at Newmarket since 1636. The reigning monarch in 1671, Charles II, rode the winner of that year's Newmarket Town Plate and is the only reigning monarch to ever be the winning jockey in an official horse race. 

The racecourse has two courses – the Rowley Mile Course and the July (or summer) Course – both solely used for flat racing.

Famous July Cup Winners

Aside from the afore-mentioned Springfield, several famous name in racehorse history have taken first place at the July Cup. Only one horse – Sundridge – has won the July Cup on three occasions, winning in successive years in 1902, 1903 and 1904. 

The legendary Lester Piggott has ridden the most winners at the event, with an unparalleled ten victories. Piggott rode his first July Cup winner, Vigo, in 1957 at the age of twenty-one, and his final winner, Mr Brooks in 1992 at the age of fifty-six, a span of thirty-five years.

What are the next festivals?

The racing calendar is packed with festivals this summer, and we'll be here to bring you the best tips and predictions for every race.


You can also see our daily horse racing tips, shared completely free by our experts. 

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